Website Maintenance Checklist For WordPress DIYers

By Sandra Ciminelli – Web Designer/Developer

Website Maintenance Checklist For WordPress DIYers

Looking after your WordPress website is an absolute game-changer when it comes to turbocharging performance, fortifying security, and ensuring your site stays in remarkable condition. And guess what? By embracing a consistent maintenance regimen, you can unleash an unparalleled level of awesomeness for all your website visitors by creating a seamless and improved user experience..

Unleash the power of WordPress by keeping it in top-notch condition with my ultimate checklist.

Get ready to make some exciting updates to your website! Just remember, each time you make changes, your website will temporarily go into maintenance mode. But don’t worry, you can easily pick a convenient time to carry out those updates and keep your site running smoothly. Get ready to supercharge your website and take it to the next level of awesomeness! Let’s dive in and make sure your website is always shining bright and performing at its best.

Maintenance Checklist

1. Backup Your Website To Make It Recoverable
  1. Backup Frequency– I highly recommend implementing weekly backups at minimum for your entire website, including the database and files. By conducting backups in this way it will guarantee a complete and uncorrupted copy that you can easily restore from. Make sure to explore all the options below to ensure maximum protection:
  2. Backup Plugin – Choose a reputable and reliable backup plugin such as Updraft Backups or Backup Buddy. These plugins will not only create a backup for you but also provide peace of mind by creating restoration points to make your website recoverable.
  3. Web Hosting Backup – Take advantage of your web host’s backup services. Some providers, like Australian Ventra IP, offer regular Acronis backups as part of their web hosting packages. These backups are performed hourly and ensure your data is constantly protected.
  4. Document Your Backup Procedure – Don’t forget to document your backup and restoration procedures. Having a clear and organised plan in place will make the process seamless and efficient, should you ever need to restore your website. By implementing these energetic and upbeat measures, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that your website is well-protected and ready to bounce back from any setbacks!
2. Harden Security To Keep Hackers Out
  1. Strong Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for your WordPress login and hosting accounts. Try combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, incorporating numbers and symbols. E.g., STAR-Field.16?+ (making up your own combination) which is harder to guess than a word number combination alone. Hackers use lightning fast apps to decipher passwords so make it difficult for them to figure it out.
  2. Security Plugin With A Firewall: Protect your website from malware and hacking attempts with a plugin that includes a firewall and malware scanner. (Wordfence Premium offers full protection)
  3. Limit Login Attempts: Set limits on login attempts as a preventative measure against brute force attacks and hackers.
  4. Set 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) for WordPress Users – Navigate to Settings > Two-factor authentication in the WordPress dashboard.
  5. install SSL: The presence of an installed SSL certificate on your website provides your users with a sense of trust and reassurance, as evidenced by the visible security symbol in their browser’s address bar. By implementing an SSL certificate, you can ensure the secure transmission of online data on your website, effectively preventing unauthorized interception of information left by site visitors through your web forms, such as those used to contact you. It is worth noting that Google marks websites without an SSL certificate as unsafe, thus having one in place establishes credibility and fosters trust with your site visitors and customers.
  6. Regularly Scan for Malware: Use your security plugin to scan for malware and vulnerabilities. Pay attention to what your scanner is telling you an make the necessary adjustments to remedy the situation.
  7. Health Site Status On WordPress Dashboard:  Monitor your site health screen to know the state of the health of your WordPress website and view the recommended actions.
  8. Monitor User Accounts Regularly & Control User Access: From time to time make sure to look at who has access to your WordPress Dashboard. Look out for unusual or suspicious accounts. Also see the roles each user is assigned.
3. improve Performance 
  1. Optimize Images: Optimise images to improve load times. Use only the recommended sizes on your website and convert images to compatible web versions such as Webp.
  2. Minimize and Combine Files: Minify files and minimize the number of CSS and JavaScript files by also combining them when possible.
  3. Cache: Use a caching plugin to speed up your site. There are many to choose from on the WordPress repository. Choose a popular one that is regularly updated and is compatible with your WordPress version.
  4. Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN service can speed up performance by delivering content more quickly to users around the world. It works by replicating and storing content close to where the user is accessing content from so it can be delivered even faster.
  5. Check Page Load Speed: Page load speed can be tested regularly using Pingdom, GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights.
  6. Content and SEO: Without SEO your web pages are virtually invisible.  Use onpage and technical SEO cleverly with relevant keywords to boost your websites visibility organically. (equates to UNPAID Marketing on the search engine.).
  7. Regularly Update Content: google loves fresh content. Add new, refresh your page content and update existing content to keep it relevant.
4. Keep Your Website Updated
  1. Conduct Safe updates:Ensuring that you back up your website before conducting these updates to create a restore point should your site become unstable. Keep in mind that these updates are security focused to patch the latest security vulnerabilities.
  2. Update The WordPress Core File to the latest version: Update the WordPress Core and WordPress themes As soon as updates become available. It’s critical to the security of your website to keep plugins updated as outdated plugins create vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.
  3. Remove Unused Themes & Plugins –  keeping no more than one additional theme for your website to revert back to in case its required. TIP: if your website has a child theme and a parent them,  keep them both, plus one additional theme. Otherwise all other unused themes and plugins can be deactivated and removed..
5. Additional Monitoring
  1. Uptime: Keep a close eye on your website’s uptime with alerts to know how often your site goes down. The acceptable uptime is 99%. Consider moving to a new web hosting provider if your uptime isn’t up to scratch.
  2. Broken Links: Use a plugin or service to identify broken links on your website and fix them. TIP: Add a handy 404 Error redirect page for when links aren’t accessible, instead of leaving site visitors wondering what just happened. Add a simple message like, ‘Oops the page you’re looking for does not exist, please visit our home page or get in touch.’  Provide two buttons which will be linked to your home page and the other to your contact form.

By following this checklist, your Dvi WordPress website will be well-maintained, secure, and performing at its best. Regular maintenance and monitoring are crucial for ensuring the long-term success of your website.

Need Tips on How to Care For Your Divi + WordPress Website Like A Boss?

Check out my How To Take Care of Your DivI Website Like A Boss Freebie

Need To Ditch WordPress Updates To Free Up Your Valuable Time ?

ACT Websites can take care of your WordPress updates and more. See my plans using the link below or Contact Sandra to customise a plan to suit your business needs. View my WordPress Maintenance Plans

Looking for a Premium WordPress theme you can visually edit and easily design with?

If you don’t have the Divi theme visit the Elegant Themes Website. With an impressive selection of over 800 premade layouts and an invaluable membership that comes with unlimited support, the possibilities are endless! From an array of exciting features to an abundance of benefits, this platform caters to WordPress DIYers, web design freelancers and agencies alike. Get ready to unleash your creativity and take your website to new heights!

By Sandra Ciminelli
ACT Websites – WordPress Freelancer
Located in Canberra.

Sandra at ACT Websites Canberra
Need A Quote, WordPress Maintenance or Support?

I’m Sandra Ciminelli
Canberra based WordPress Web Designer/Developer

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